The workshops, designed to tackle important issues such as discrimination, sexual exploitation and legal highs, are being rolled out to ten Kicks community football sessions across Greater Manchester.
The non-compulsory workshops, help give young people an insight and understanding of specific topics that they may experience themselves. Led by a specially trained youth engagement coach, the topics are often discussed informally, with coaches on hand to provide further reassurance and support.
The launch coincided with a football tournament held in Salford, with teams representing each of the ten Kicks projects. Tom from Swinton was one of the young footballers involved and was keen to praise the initiative, “Today we’ve been playing matches, taking part in workshops, and learning that football is not just a game, there is a community aspect around it.”
He added, “The tournament was really good as you get to play people from all over Manchester, meeting new people from different backgrounds. It’s good that these workshops happen too as they teach more about how to live your life and be prepared for the future.”
Foundation Youth Engagement Coordinator, Dean Ellul, explained why the Foundation felt it was important to hold regular workshops and conversations with participants at sessions, “We do this type of work to educate young people about things they may come up against in their lives such as budgeting and money skills but also issues such as the dangerous nature of legal highs.”
He concluded, “The programme has been six months in the making so getting if off the ground has been a massive success, and going forward we will run these workshops on a regular basis. It’s about getting young people together to talk about topics in an environment where everyone is comfortable, and there is no better place than the football pitch.”